What’s the Smartest Way to Incorporate a Silk Pocket Square into Women’s Suits?

March 7, 2024

The humble pocket square, often overlooked in women’s formal wear, can effortlessly transform an outfit from ordinary to extraordinary. This small piece of silk, cotton, or linen, neatly tucked into a jacket pocket, can bring a splash of colour, a hint of sophistication, and an undeniable charm to your ensemble. This article will delve into the art of folding pocket squares, the judicious selection of colours and materials, and how to best incorporate them into your suits.

How to Perfectly Fold a Pocket Square

Before we dive into the world of pocket squares and their incorporation into your formal wear, it’s essential to understand the art of folding a pocket square. It’s not a Herculean task, but it does require a bit of finesse and practice.

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The Classic White Cotton Fold

The classic white cotton fold is the epitome of elegance and simplicity. It’s a versatile fold and works well with any suit. Start with a flat square, fold it in half to form a rectangle, fold again to create a square and finally, fold one last time to create a narrow rectangle that fits your pocket. The final look should have only a straight white line peeping out of your pocket.

The One Point Fold

This fold is another classic and a bit more decorative. Begin with your square flat, fold in half diagonally to create a triangle. Fold the left and right corners in so they meet at the middle, ensuring the points are aligned. This fold creates a single point that sticks out of your pocket, hence the name.

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The Casual Puff

For a more casual look, the puff fold is an excellent choice. Lay your square flat, pinch the middle, and pick it up. Fold the bottom part up, making sure the puff is as big as you want. This fold works best with silk squares due to their lightness and flexibility.

Choosing the Right Pocket Square Material

Choosing the right material for your pocket square is as crucial as the fold itself. The most common materials are silk, cotton and linen, each bringing a unique touch to your outfit.


Silk pocket squares are luxurious and reflect light beautifully. They’re perfect for formal occasions and pair excellently with silk ties. Silk is also more flexible, which makes it perfect for more complex folds like the puff.


Cotton is a great all-rounder. It’s perfect for both formal and casual occasions. White cotton squares are perfect for a clean, crisp look and are incredibly versatile.


Linen squares are a summer favourite. They’re light, breathable, and offer a more relaxed look. Linen squares work excellently with casual suits and sports jackets.

Selecting the Right Colour

The colour of your pocket square can make or break your outfit. The best rule of thumb is to ensure your pocket square complements your outfit rather than matching it exactly.


A white pocket square is a timeless classic. It works with virtually any outfit and is perfect for formal occasions. A white silk or cotton pocket square is a must-have in your wardrobe.

Bold Colours

Bold colours like red, blue, or purple can add a pop of colour to your outfit. They’re ideal for less formal occasions and work well when you want to make a statement.


Patterned pocket squares are an excellent way to liven up a simple suit. Striped, polka dot, or paisley squares can add visual interest without being overbearing.

Incorporating Pocket Squares Into Your Suits

Now that you’re armed with folds, materials, and colours, it’s time to incorporate pocket squares into your suits. They’re an inexpensive way to add elegance and versatility to your wardrobe.

Formal Occasions

For formal occasions, a silk square in a classic fold is your best bet. Pair a white silk pocket square with a black suit for a timeless look, or add a bit of flair with a bold colour or pattern.

Casual Outings

For more casual outings, a cotton or linen square in a puff fold will serve you well. The casual puff adds a touch of fun and can be done in a variety of colours and patterns.

Office Wear

For everyday office wear, a white cotton square in a simple fold is an easy go-to. It’s professional, neat, and can be paired with almost any outfit.

Incorporating a pocket square into your suit doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With practice and a keen eye for detail, you’ll be able to elevate any outfit with this simple accessory. Remember, fashion should be fun and an expression of your personality. So don’t be afraid to experiment and make the pocket square your own.

Pocket Square Etiquette and Rules

Understanding the rules and etiquette of wearing a pocket square is pivotal. Observing these can make the difference between a flawlessly styled outfit and a fashion faux pas.

Matching Your Pocket Square and Tie

A common mistake made in wearing pocket squares is matching them exactly with the tie. Instead, aim to complement your tie and shirt with your pocket square. This could mean picking a pocket square of a similar shade to your tie or one that picks up an accent colour in your shirt or tie.

The Pocket Square and Your Breast Pocket

The pocket square should always sit in your breast pocket. Be mindful of its size and ensure it doesn’t overwhelm the pocket. The rule of thumb is that the pocket square should not occupy more than half of the breast pocket.

Pocket Square for Black Tie Events

Black tie events call for a more formal approach. A white silk pocket square, folded in a classic one point or square fold, is the traditional choice.

Hand Rolled Edges

Hand rolled edges on a pocket square add a touch of sophistication. When properly folded, this detail can add a dash of visual interest to your ensemble.

When Not to Wear a Pocket Square

While pocket squares can enhance most looks, there are times when they might be best left at home. If your suit already has a lot of patterns or if the event is very casual, you might want to forgo the pocket square.

Conclusion: Amplify Your Style with a Pocket Square

Pocket squares, often considered the cherry on top of a well-tailored suit, express the wearer’s personality and attention to detail. Whether it’s a formal event or a casual day at the office, there is a pocket square fold, material and colour to match the vibe.

Remember, the perfect pocket square is one that complements your outfit, not overshadows it. It should be an accessory that adds a subtle touch of sophistication and not a distracting detail. Choose a fold that suits the occasion and a material and colour that complements your outfit.

Incorporating a pocket square into your suit is indeed a smart way to add style, uniqueness and sophistication to your ensemble. With a keen eye for detail and a bit of practice, you can master the art of the pocket square and make your style statement. So next time you put on a suit, don’t forget that little piece of fabric that can make a big difference.